Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Adventist HealthCare

Adventist HealthCare traces its roots to the turn of the 20th century when Ellen White, co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, contributed proceeds from the sale of her book The Ministry of Healing to help build the Washington Sanitarium. Its first entity, Washington Sanitarium opened in February 1904 and was temporarily headquartered in Washington, D.C., until a permanent facility in Takoma Park, Md., was opened in June 1907.

In its early years, the Sanitarium improved the physical, mental, and spiritual health of its visitors through rest, exercise, and a wholesome diet. After World War I it began providing surgical, obstetric, and emergency care. In 1971, the hospital performed its first open heart surgery. Two years later, it was renamed Washington Adventist Hospital.

Months later, a second facility, Hackettstown Community Hospital (now called Hackettstown Regional Medical Center) opened in northwestern New Jersey. In 1979, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital opened its doors in Rockville, Md.

Today, Adventist HealthCare, one of the largest employers in the state of Maryland, employs more than 7,000 people and cares for more than 250,000 patients annually. This nonprofit network includes three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, one psychiatric hospital, numerous nursing centers, and several home health agencies.

Erik Wangsness, president of WAH, speaks at the dedication of the new Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center. Photo by Eli Turner

Terry Forde, AHC president and CEO, said that the health needs of the community will evolve and change in the decades ahead. “We must acknowledge that the mission of extending God’s care through the ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing will be needed” until Christ’s return.

Photo by Phyllis Buchanan from Flickr

A small child about five years old was preparing to go home following a minor procedure at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center in Rockville, Md. The surgery had been successful, and the child was seated in a wheelchair, his parents standing beside him. The nurse was starting the discharge process.

Fort Washington Medical Center is a 37-bed hospital located just south of National Harbor in a growing section of the region. It cares for close to 40,000 patients a year in its emergency department and, like Adventist HealthCare, has a strong commitment to serving the needs of their community.

Adventist HealthCare

Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center and Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital each recently received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get with The Guidelines® Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with a Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus designation. 

Adventist HealthCare has named Dwayne Leslie, Esq., as its vice president and chief compliance officer. In this position, he will lead the organization’s comprehensive corporate compliance, organizational integrity and internal audit efforts.

Photo courtesy Potomac Conference

“We wanted our Adventist nurses to be recognized, acknowledged and celebrated for the work they do. We want them to know that the Adventist church and the Adventist HealthCare system appreciates them,” said event organizer Kathy Coleman, Faith Community Nurse coordinator and program director for Adventist HealthCare in Montgomery County, Maryland.

“We look forward to offering our skilled rehabilitation services to the community in a new, state-of-the-art treatment facility,” said Brent Reitz, president of Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation. “We will fully transition our services to White Oak Medical Center within a year after construction begins this spring.”